How To Encourage a Friend Not To Give Up: 25 Strategies

In this new article you’ll learn how to encourage a friend not to give up. 

It’s worth supporting and comforting your friend who has just split up with their partner, is having problems at work or is trying to lose weight.

You shouldn’t go overboard with this support, but just being there for someone can be very motivating.

How To Encourage a Friend Not To Give Up:

1. Make physical contact.

If you learn that someone is going through a difficult time, whether it’s a divorce or breakup, illness, or the loss of a loved one, reach out to them as soon as possible. People who find themselves in a difficult or crisis situation often feel isolated.

Call, email or text if the person is on the other side of the country or far away.

You don’t have to say that you are aware of their difficulties. Being there for them, asking how they are doing and showing support can be a huge help to someone going through a difficult time in their life.

Although you shouldn’t just turn up unexpectedly at someone’s door, paying a visit can be beneficial. This is especially important if the person has a chronic illness that prevents them from leaving the house.

2. Pay attention to them without passing judgement.

People need to tell their stories in their own time, especially if they are going through a crisis. Of course, you will have your opinion on their condition, but it is not always necessary to offer it, especially if it is uninvited.

Focus on your colleague and provide your presence. He or she will be able to confide in you as they go through the recovery process.

If you’ve been in a similar situation to your buddy, you should give them advice based on your past experiences.

You can ask if they would appreciate your advice, but don’t be shocked if they don’t.

3. Provide practical help.

Instead of giving advice, you can give practical help. For someone trying to cope with a stressful situation, this can make a big difference. Even small actions can have a significant impact.

Help the person with various chores, such as grocery shopping, cleaning the house or walking the dog.

When a person’s life is falling apart, often the most basic responsibilities are the first to fall away.

4. Allow your friend to process their feelings at their own pace.

Emotions associated with painful life changes (illness, death of a loved one, divorce or breakup) usually come in waves. Your friend may be coping well with the change one day and then completely break down the next.

When faced with these emotions, keep your discomfort to a minimum. Strong emotions, especially with someone you care about, can be difficult to deal with.

But remember, this isn’t about you.

This is about your mate who is going through a terrible time. Make sure he or she is calm enough to express their emotions in your presence.

5. Be a person they can cry to.

Make sure your friend understands that you are available to support and help them.

While it is beneficial to have more than one supportive friend so that the burden is not solely on your shoulders, try to be one of those friends.

Make it clear to your friend that he or she is not bothering you. Say something like: “If you are unhappy or overwhelmed, call me! I would love to help you cope with these difficult circumstances. “

When it comes to a relationship crisis or divorce, this is very important. When they need to contact their ex, they contact a friend who supports them beforehand.

6. Encourage your friend to take care of the basics

When someone is going through a traumatic life event, they tend to neglect basic life activities.

This is why people who are ill or mourning a loss, for example, often forget to eat, stop caring about their appearance and are less likely to go out.

Remind them to take a shower and get some exercise. The easiest way to do this is to invite them for a walk or a coffee so that they have to put effort into their appearance.

To get them to eat, it’s a good idea to bring food so they don’t have to do the cooking and cleaning.

You can also take them out for lunch (or order in a restaurant if they don’t want to mix with other people).

7. You should not take control of their life.

Although many people have the best of intentions when it comes to helping someone who is going through a difficult time, your help can be overwhelming.

Feelings of helplessness can arise during a divorce, illness or loss of a loved one. However, don’t make all decisions for the other person. Provide alternatives.

Ask your friend where and when they want to eat, rather than simply taking them out to dinner.

Allowing him to make choices, even if they are small, can help him regain control.

Spending lots of money on them is not a good idea. It’s one thing to take them to get their nails done cheaply, but spending too much money on them will make them feel like they owe you something and can’t take care of themselves.

8. Look at yourself.

When a friend’s life is in crisis, it tends to trigger all kinds of emotions in you as well. This is especially true if you have gone through something comparable to their situation.

Set your boundaries.

Even if you want to be there for your friend when they are struggling, you need to make sure that your life doesn’t focus on them.

Recognise the actions and events that upset you. If you are dealing with a buddy who has just escaped from an abusive family and has dealt with this before, you may want to take a step back.

SEE ALSO: How To Make Someone Feel Special: (15 Everyday Tips)

9. Check in regularly to see what is going on.

People tend to care about someone just after their life has fallen apart, but this concern fades over time.

Make sure you don’t.

Make sure your mate understands that they can call you if they need anything and that you are aware of their progress.

10. Recognise the symptoms of depression.

People are not always sad; they may just be going through a difficult time in their lives.

However, if a colleague is starting to show signs of despair, you should pay close attention so you don’t make the situation worse.

Does he or she seem sullen, worried or absent-minded all the time? Do they exude depression or pessimism (nothing will ever get better, life is a nightmare)?

Do they experience a lot of remorse, feelings of worthlessness or powerlessness? Are they tired and lacking energy? Do they have problems concentrating on tasks (1), recalling information or making decisions?

Do they experience insomnia or excessive sleeping? Have they gained or lost a lot of weight? Are they agitated and anxious?

Have they mentioned or discussed death or suicide as a possibility? Have they attempted or talked about attempting suicide? This may be shown by saying that the world would be a better place if they were not here.

11. Acknowledge their suffering, but do not procrastinate.

Remember that their anguish, desperation and helplessness are genuine. Acknowledge that they are experiencing unpleasant emotions, and then do everything you can to distract them from it.

Distraction can help depressed people.

You don’t have to somehow make a special effort to distract your friend from their problems.

If you are out for a walk, drawing attention to the beauty of the light on the river or the colour of the sky, for example, can change the discussion.

Repeating the same unpleasant feelings can actually make things worse because it encourages the depressed person to stay in that bad attitude.

12. Don’t take their sadness personally.

Because of their circumstances, people with depression often find it difficult to connect with others on an emotional level. They will find it harder to reach out to others if they take it personally.

A sad person may hit you and say something harsh or offensive. Remember that it is the depression, not your mate, that says these things.

This does not mean that you have to accept his or her abuse.

If your mate becomes aggressive and depressed, he should get professional therapy.

It is unlikely that you will be able to help him other than by promising to be there for him when he stops hurting you.

13. Don’t underestimate the severity of depression.

Chemical imbalances in the brain are often associated with depression. It involves more than sadness or depression.

A person suffering from depression may feel as if they are overwhelmed by sadness or emptiness.

14. Volunteer to help with small tasks.

Cleaning the house, washing the dishes and going to work can be quite difficult when you are depressed. Doing small things to help them can have a big impact.

People with depression spend most of their time fighting the mental illness that is consuming them.

This leaves little energy for chores around the house.

Bring them a beautifully prepared dinner now and then or offer to help clean the house. Ask if you can accompany them on walks with their dog.

15. Be an understanding listener.

Depression is a difficult condition to overcome. It can be more beneficial to listen to someone rather than giving them lots of advice or thoughts about what they are going through.

16. Always remember that you are not their therapist.

Even if you are a licensed therapist, you should not work therapeutically with your friend.

Being there and listening to someone who is depressed does not mean you are responsible for their mental state.

If your buddy calls you in the middle of the night when you’re trying to sleep, or talks about suicide, or seems to be trapped in the same unhappy place for months or years, they should visit a therapist instead of you.

SEE ALSO: Here’s How To Find a Loyal Partner: [New In-Depth Guide]

17. Encourage your friend to seek treatment from a specialist.

You can give your friend encouragement and support, but you can’t get him the professional help he needs and you can’t make his despair go away through sheer force of will.

This is a difficult conversation to have, but a necessary one if you care about your friend.

Ask if he has ever considered or sought professional help. Recommend helpful resources or a competent professional if you know one.

18. Realise that depression can be cyclical.

Depression is not something that happens once and then goes away after taking a few pills. Even if your mate finds the right medication, it can be a lifelong struggle.

Don’t abandon it.

Depression can be very severe and isolating and can make a person feel insane. The difference can be that there are people who support them.

19. Set your own limits.

Obviously, your mate is important to you and you want to do everything you can to help them recover. While helping others, you must not forget about yourself.

Make sure you take care of yourself.

Take a break from the depressed person. Spend time with people who are not sad or who do not need your help.

Remember that if you are not getting (or have not been getting) reciprocal contact from this friend, the relationship can become difficult and one-sided. Don’t get caught up in such a scenario.

20. Don’t tell them they need to lose weight.

You are not the boss of anyone but yourself, and telling your mate that they need to lose weight is rude and could cause your friendship to break down.

People will make their own choices and you should let them determine what they need for themselves at some point.

Even if their weight has become a health issue, this is true. They are likely to recognise that there is a problem and take action if they want to.

21. Actively participate in their weight loss programme.

When a buddy is determined to lose weight, they will need the help of their peers. Find out as much as you can about the food and fitness exercises they use if they want to share.

22. Concentrate on what they are doing well.

Keeping track of their progress is not your responsibility.

Don’t pay attention to how they are doing, what they are eating, when they make a mistake, or anything else until they ask you to. You are not imposing a diet. You are there to encourage and support them, not criticise them.

Celebrate small successes and achievements (2).

When they don’t do something correctly, don’t criticise them. It is not your responsibility to advise them on how to get in shape if they eat the wrong foods or neglect exercise.

23. Appreciate achievements along the way.

Make sure you congratulate them when they have lost weight or increased their workouts. Make sure those meetings don’t just focus on food.

Take them to the movies, give them a manicure or buy that new book they have their eye on.

24. Focus on the person rather than the diet.

Don’t focus on the diet, what they did or where they went wrong when you talk to them.

Instead, ask about how they are doing (as a person), their dog’s wellbeing, their education and recent job changes.

Remember: this is your buddy, whether they succeed or fail in reducing their weight. Their life should not be defined by how much weight they lose or how much they gain.

25. Don’t overdo it when it comes to being helpful.

It’s tempting to show someone how much you care by providing them with lots of ‘useful’ suggestions on how to improve the situation, as well as exercises and weight loss books.

This should not be done.

It is better to simply ask for what they need and be there for them, rather than falling in where you are not wanted.

I want to thank you for taking the time to read my article about how to encourage a friend not to give up. I sincerely hope its contents have been a good help to you. +